All this losing has put every member of the Phillies’ baseball operations program under a microscope.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has been kicked around like an old football all season, but club president David Montgomery has indicated that Amaro’s job is not in jeopardy.
Manager Ryne Sandberg has two more years left on his contract and it would be shocking -- shocking -- if he did not return next season.
On Monday, Amaro said he was pleased with Sandberg’s work in his first full season on the job.
“It's incomplete so far because the season is not over,” Amaro said. “He was given a tough task right out of the chute. There was an expectation for us to win. We have a lot of veterans who were, in some cases, underperforming. We had some young guys we were giving opportunities who we expected more from.
"It's been challenging for him. It's a great learning experience for him. He's still learning and learning different ways to motivate and move the club forward. He's addressing things. He's learning how to handle the players on a daily basis. He's utilizing the staff well. We still have over a month to go. I'll know more about how he's done. So far I'm pleased with how he's handled things.”
Sandberg’s leadership of the club has become a hot topic over the last week. He’s had three meetings with unhappy players (see story).
“Yeah, he's addressing these things,” Amaro said. “That's all I can ask of the manager. Some unfortunate comments have been made, I think. In some case, some inappropriate comments on the player's part. But I think that's been handled.”
Amaro continued to stress that Sandberg is still evolving as a manager.
“I didn't expect Ryno to come in here and be the greatest manager of all time,” Amaro said. “This is a process. He's learning. By and large, he's done a good job. You're a smart manager when teams win and you're not so smart when you don't have success.”